Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has announced that his country will buy weapons from the U.S. for a total of $215 million USD, matching the price of the original deal with Russia.
President Marcos stated that his country had backed out of the deal with Russia over fears of “sanctions” and an inability to fulfill the orders. The deal is primarily in “heavy lifting helicopters”. Marcos did not make a comment on which helicopters would be sent, only that they were built in Poland.
Russian Ambassador Marat Pavlov stated that his government has not been officially informed of any cancellation, so he believes the deal with Russia is still legitimate,” stating that the first of the 15 helicopters has been “ready for shipment” since June of last year.
Marcos has also stated that he expects the Russian government to fully repay the $32 million that the Philippines has already sent. The government has established a committee to negotiate an agreement with Moscow on how the money will be returned.
The deal with Russia was made with the government prior to Marcos, and it was missing a few components from the deal with the US. Although the agreement is for the same price, there is a parts and service contract that will cover the maintenance of the vehicles, making the US agreement far more appealing.
This purchase was made as a correction to the previous administration, which broke a 2017 US sanction that forbade anyone from doing business with Russian intelligence or defense agencies, marking a significant win for the United States in its diplomatic fight against Russia in the strategically important Philippines.